When I was 6 years old my family and I moved from Weymouth to Needham and I found myself starting in a new school with new faces. Until that point I was not a very active kid. I played pick up sports but nothing organized and I was a bit on the shy side.
So what does any normal parent do to help you make some friends? They talk to the craziest mother on your street and ask her what she has her kids doing. “Our boys are hockey players and dad is the coach, let’s get Chris signed up.” I remember the first time I played hockey I had no clue what I was doing but I enjoyed the game. I did not understand the rules, I barely knew how to skate, but I loved going out there and wheeling around.
I was a bit behind the 8 ball as most kids had been skating since they could walk but I quickly took to the sport. I was amazed by how easy it was to make friends. Immediately those faces from school that I didn’t recognize were friends and I finally started to feel at home.
One person in particular that I was introduced to early was Sean Coffey. Coff was playing for a travel team while most of us were just playing town. He was bigger than everyone, he was a better skater than everyone, and to be honest he just understood the game. In a lot of ways I resented him because he was one of the best kids in town and everyone knew it.
As time progressed and as I started to play for travel teams Coff and I started to come across each other on a more regular basis. Sometimes we would be on a tournament team together or sometimes we would be opponents. However, there was always a level of respect between the two of us because we both loved the game. Slowly we started to hang out on a more regular basis, played baseball and hockey together, and a friendship was born.
It wasn’t until the summer going into 8th grade that I realized that Coff was one of my best friends. We started to do everything together. We had the same hockey advisor who we would train with and who would talk to colleges for us, we did everything on the weekends together, and we even dated girls that were best friends so that we could all hang out together. Since that point we were inseparable and eventually got the chance to play college hockey against each other while he was at St. Lawrence and I was at BC.
The bottom line is that Coff was someone that I trusted when I needed him most. Eighth grade through high school was a tough period for me. I was out of shape, I hated the school I was attending (I went to three different high schools), I remember nights when I couldn’t stay at my own house, and overall I was just unhappy. I remember asking him for advice over and over with how to better myself and he would always steer me on the right path. Sean Coffey was and still is one of my best friends and I will always be in debt to him.
So why have I dedicated seven paragraphs in my blog to Coff? Well it is simple, he is the person I am fighting on May 15th.
When I met with the founders of Haymakers, as I mentioned earlier, they wanted to see if I could fight a local BU hockey player. After coming up blank, I proposed a fight with Coff. Sean’s mother was diagnosed with Cancer in 2012 and has since beat the disease so I thought he would have a personal interest in wanting to fight for the cause.
Now many people have commented that we are crazy for what we are doing. “How can you fight your best friend? I just don’t get it. What if someone gets hurt or knocked out, then what?” Have I considered the answers to these questions? Of course I have, who wouldn’t, but the fact of the matter is that we are both fighting for a cause, not each other.
At the end of the day I look at it like any other sport or like the days when we were younger and would have shootout competitions. I have the utmost respect for my opponent because I know what type of person he is and what type of athlete he is and what we have both been through together. This fight is not about who we are fighting or at what weight class we are fighting at, it is solely about why we are fighting and I could not be more excited to do so.
As always thanks for reading!
Check out Sean’s blog here: http://seancoffeyblog.wordpress.com/
Donate to my commitment here: http://www.crowdrise.com/ChrisVentih4hboston2014